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Definition " LUSTRUM : an offering for the sins of the whole 
people, made by the censors at the expiration of their 
five years of office." 

Elementary Latin Dictionary of Charlton T. Lewis. 



CERTAIN of these poems have appeared in Poetry, 
Blast, Poetry and Drama, Smart Set, and Others l 
to the editors of which magazines the author 
wishes to make due acknowledgment. 

E. P. 

V. L. 

GUI dono lepidum novum libellum. 



Tenzone 9 

The Condolence .... 10 

The Garret 11 

The Garden 12 

Ortus 13 

Salutation 14 

The Spring 15 

Albatre 16 

Causa 16 

A Pact 17 

Surgit Fama 18 

Preference 19 

Dance Figure .... 20 

April 22 

Gentildonna 22 

The Best 23 

Les Millwin 24 

Further Instructions . . 25 

A Song of the Degrees . . 26 

Ite 27 

Dum Capitolium Scandet . 27 

To Ka\ov 27 

The Study in Aesthetics . 28 

The Bellaires .... 29 

Salvationists .... 32 

Arides 33 

The Bath Tub .... 33 

Amities 34 

To Dives . 35 


Ladies 36 

Coda 37 

Ancora ...... 38 

" Dompna pois de me no'us 

cal" 39 

The Coming of War: 

Actaeon ..... 42 

After Ch'u Yuan ... 43 

Liu Ch'e 43 

Fan-piece, for her Imperial 

Lord 44 

Ts'aiChi'h 44 

In a Station of the Metro . 45 

Alba 45 

Heather 45 

The Faun 46 

Pervigilium 46 

The Encounter .... 47 

Tempora 47 

Black Slippers : Bellotti . 48 

Society 48 

Image from D'Orleans . . 49 

Papyrus 49 

1 ' lone, Dead the Long Year' ' 50 

Shop Girl 50 

To Formianus' Young Lady 

Friend 51 

Tame Cat 52 

L'Art, 1910 52 



Simulacra 53 

Women before a Shop . . 53 

Epilogue 54 

The Social Order ... 55 

The Tea Shop .... 56 

Epitaphs 57 

Our Contemporaries . . 57 
Ancient Wisdom, Bather 

Cosmic 58 

The Three Poets ... 58 

The Gipsy ....... 59 

The Game of Chess ... 60 

Provincia Deserta ... 61 


Song of the Bowmen of 

Shu 67 

The Beautiful Toilet. . 69 

The Eiver Song ... 70 
The River Merchant's 

Wife : A Letter . . 73 
The Jewel Stairs' 

Grievance .... 75 
Poem by the Bridge at 

Ten- Shin .... 76 
Lament of the Frontier 

Guard 78 

Exile's Letter . 80 


Four Poems of Departure 
Separation on the Eiver 

Kiang 85 

Taking Leave of a 

Friend .... 85 
Leave - taking near 

Shoku 86 

The City of Choan. . 87 
South Folk in Cold 
Country 88 

Sennin Poem by Kakuhaku 89 

A Ballad of the Mulberry 
Eoad 90 

Old Idea of Choan by 
Eosoriu 91 

To-Em-Mei's "The Un- 
moving Cloud" ... 93 

Near Perigord .... 95 

Villanelle : The Psychologi- 
cal Hour 104 

Dans un Omnibus de 
Londres 107 

To a Friend Writing on 
Cabaret Dancers . . . 109 

Homage to Quintus Septi- 
mius Florentis Chris - 
tianus 113 

Fish and the Shadow , 115 



WILL people accept them ? 

(i.e. these songs). 
As a timorous wench from a centaur 

(or a centurion), 
Already they flee, howling in terror. 

Will they be touched with the verisimilitudes ? 

Their virgin stupidity is untemptable. 
I beg you, my friendly critics, 
Do not set about to procure me an audience. 

I mate with my free kind upon the crags ; 

the hidden recesses 
Have heard the echo of my heels, 

in the cool light, 

in the darkness. 


The Condolence 

A mis soledades voy, 
De mis soledades vengo, 
Porque por andar conmigo 
Mi bastan mis pensamientos. 
Lope de Vega. 

O MY fellow sufferers, songs of my youth, 
A lot of asses praise you because you are " virile," 
We, you, I ! We are " Red Bloods " ! 
Imagine it, my fellow sufferers 
Our maleness lifts us out of the ruck, 
Who'd have foreseen it ? 

O my fellow sufferers, we went out under the 


We were in especial bored with male stupidity. 
We went forth gathering delicate thoughts, 
Our " fantastikon" delighted to serve us. 
We were not exasperated with women, 
for the female is ductile. 

And now you hear what is said to us : 
We are compared to that sort of person 
Who wanders about announcing his sex 
As if he had just discovered it. 
Let us leave this matter, my songs, 

and return to that which concerns us. 


The Garret 

COME let us pity those who are better off than 

we are. 
Come, my friend, and remember 

that the rich have butlers and no friends, 
And we have friends and no butlers. 
Come let us pity the married and the unmarried. 

Dawn enters with little feet 

like a gilded Pavlova, 
And I am near my desire. 
Nor has life in it aught better 
Than this hour of clear coolness, 

the hour of waking together. 


The Garden 

En robe de parade. 

LIKE a skein of loose silk blown against a wall 
She walks by the railing of a path in Kensington 

And she is dying piece-meal 

of a sort of emotional anaemia. 

And round about there is a rabble 

Of the filthy, sturdy, unkillable infants of the 

very poor. 
They shall inherit the earth. 

In her is the end of breeding. 
Her boredom is exquisite and excessive. 
She would like someone to speak to her, 
And is almost afraid that I 

will commit that indiscretion. 



How have I laboured ? 

How have I not laboured 

To bring her soul to birth, 

To give these elements a name and a centre ! 

She is beautiful as the sunlight, and as fluid. 

She has no name, and no place. 

How have I laboured to bring her soul into 

separation ; 
To give her a name and her being ! 

Surely you are bound and entwined, 

You are mingled with the elements unborn ; 

I have loved a stream and a shadow. 

I beseech you enter your life. 
I beseech you learn to say " I " 
When I question you : 
For you are no part, but a whole ; 
No portion, but a being. 



GENERATION of the thoroughly smug 

and thoroughly uncomfortable, 

1 have seen fishermen picnicking in the sun, 
I have seen them with untidy families, 

I have seen their smiles full of teeth 

and heard ungainly laughter. 

And I am happier than you are, 
And they were happier than I am ; 
And the fish swim in the lake 

and do not even own clothing. 


The Spring 

CYDONIAN spring with her attendant train, 

Maelids and water-girls, 

Stepping beneath a boisterous wind from Thrace, 

Throughout this sylvan place 

Spreads the bright tips, 

And every vine-stock is 

Clad in new brilliancies. 

And wild desire 
Falls like black lightning. 
O bewildered heart, 
Though every branch have back what last year 


She, who moved here amid the cyclamen, 
Moves only now a clinging tenuous ghost. 



THIS lady in the white bath-robe which she calls 

a peignoir 

Is, for the time being, the mistress of my friend, 
And the delicate white feet of her little white 


Are not more delicate than she is, 
Nor would Gautier himself have despised their 

contrasts in whiteness 
As she sits in the great chair 
Between the two indolent candles. 


I JOIN these words for four people, 
Some others may overhear them, 
world, I am sorry for you, 
You do not know these four people. 


A Pact 

I MAKE a pact with you, Walt Whitman- 

I have detested you long enough. 

I come to you as a grown child 

Who has had a pig-headed father ; 

I am old enough now to make friends. 

It was you that broke the new wood, 

Now is a time for carving. 

We have one sap and one root 

Let there be commerce between us. 


Surgit Fama 

THERE is a truce among the gods, 
Kore is seen in the North 
Skirting the blue-gray sea 
In gilded and russet mantle. 

The corn has again its mother and she, Leuconoe, 
That failed never women, 
Fails not the earth now. 

The tricksome Hermes is here ; 

He moves behind me 

Eager to catch my words, 

Eager to spread them with rumour ; 

To set upon them his change 

Crafty and subtle ; 

To alter them to his purpose ; 

But do thou speak true, even to the letter : 

" Once more in Delos, once more is the altar 


Once more is the chant heard. 
Once more are the never abandonedjjjgardens 
Full of gossip and old tales." 



IT is true that you say the gods are more use to 

you than fairies, 
But for all that I have seen you 

on a high, white, noble horse. 
Like some strange queen in a story. 

It is odd that you should be covered with long 

and trailing tendrils and flowers ; 
It is odd that you should be changing your face 

and resembling some other woman to 

plague me ; 

It is odd that you should be hiding yourself 
In the cloud of beautiful women who do not 
concern me. 

And I, who follow every seed-leaf upon the wind ? 
You will say that I deserve this. 

19 c 2 

Dance Figure 

For the Marriage in Cana of Galilee 

DARK eyed, 

woman of my dreams, 
Ivory sandaled, 

There is none like thee among the dancers, 
None with swift feet. 

1 have not found thee in the tents, 
In the broken darkness. 

I have not found thee at the well-head 
Among the women with pitchers. 

Thine arms are as a young sapling under the 

Thy face as a river with lights. 

White as an almond are thy shoulders ; 
As new almonds stripped from the husk. 

They guard thee not with eunuchs ; 
Not with bars of copper. 



Gilt turquoise and silver are in the place of thy 

A brown robe, with threads of gold woven in 


hast thou gathered about thee, 
O Nathat-Ikanaie, " Tree-at-the-river." 

As a rillet among the sedge are thy hands upon 

me ; 
Thy fingers a frosted stream. 

Thy maidens are white like pebbles ; 
Their music about thee ! 

There is none like thee among the dancers ; 
None with swift feet. 


Nywpharum membra disjecta. 

THREE spirits came to me 
And drew me apart 
To where the olive boughs 
Lay stripped upon the ground : 
Pale carnage beneath bright mist. 


SHE passed and left no quiver in the veins, who 

Moving among the trees, and clinging 

in the air she severed, 
Fanning the grass she walked on then, endures : 

Grey olive leaves beneath a rain-cold sky. 


The Rest 

O HELPLESS few in my country, 

remnant enslaved ! 

Artists broken against her, 
A-stray, lost in the villages, 
Mistrusted, spoken-against, 

Lovers of beauty, starved, 
Thwarted with systems, 
Helpless against the control ; 

You who can not wear yourselves out 

By persisting to successes, 

You who can only speak, 

Who can not steel yourselves into reiteration ; 

You of the finer sense, 
Broken against false knowledge, 
You who can know at first hand, 
Hated, shut in, mistrusted : 

Take thought : 

1 have weathered the storm, 
I have beaten out my exile. 


Les Millwin 

THE little Millwins attend the Russian Ballet. 
The mauve and greenish souls of the little 


Were seen lying along the upper seats 
Like so many unused boas. 

The turbulent and undisciplined host of art 


The rigorous deputation from " Slade " 
Was before them. 
With arms exalted, with fore -arms 
Crossed in great futuristic X's, the art students 
Exulted, they beheld the splendours of Cleopatra. 

And the little Millwins beheld these things ; 
With their large and anaemic eyes they looked 
out upon this configuration. 

Let us therefore mention the fact, 
For it seems to us worthy of record. 

Further Instructions 

COME, my songs, let us express our baser passions, 
Let us express our envy of the man with a steady 

and no worry about the future. 
You are very idle, my songs. 
I fear you will come to a bad end. 
You stand about in the streets, 
You loiter at the corners and bus-stops 
You do next to nothing at all. 

You do not even express our inner nobilities, 
You will come to a very bad end. 

And I? 

I have gone half cracked, 

I have talked to you so much that 

I almost see you about me, 

Insolent little beasts, shameless, devoid of 
clothing ! 

But you, newest song of the lot, 

You are not old enough to have done much 


I will get you a green coat out of China 
With dragons worked upon it, 
I will get you the scarlet silk trousers 
From the statue of the infant Christ at Santa 

Maria Novella, 

Lest they say we are lacking in taste, 
Or that there is no caste in this family. 


A Song of the Degrees 

KEST me with Chinese colours, 
For I think the glass is evil. 


The wind moves above the wheat 
With a silver crashing, 
A thin war of metal. 

I have known the golden disc, 
I have seen it melting above me. 
I have known the stone-bright place, 
The hall of clear colours. 


O glass subtly evil, confusion of colours ! 
O light bound and bent in, O soul of the captive, 
Why am I warned ? Why am I sent away ? 
Why is your glitter full of curious mistrust ? 
O glass subtle and cunning, powdery gold ! 
O filaments of amber, two-faced iridescence ! 



Go, my songs, seek your praise from the young 

and from the intolerant, 
Move among the lovers of perfection alone. 
Seek ever to stand in the hard Sophoclean light 
And take your wounds from it gladly. 

Dum Capitolium Scandet 

How many will come after me 

singing as well as I sing, none better ; 

Telling the heart of their truth 

as I have taught them to tell it ; 

Fruit of my seed, 

my unnameable children. 

Know then that I loved you from afore-time, 
Clear speakers, naked in the sun, untrammelled, 

To KaXoi> 

EVEN in my dreams you have denied yourself to 

And sent me only your handmaids. 


The Study in Aesthetics 

THE very small children in patched clothing, 
Being smitten with an unusual wisdom, 
Stopped in their play as she passed them 
And cried up from their cobbles : 

Guarda I Ahi, guarda ! cti e Ma ! * 

But three years after this 

I heard the young Dante, whose last name I do 

not know 
For there are, in Sirmione, twenty-eight young 

Dantes and thirty -four Catulli ; 

And there had been a great catch of sardines, 
And his elders 

Were packing them in the great wooden boxes 
For the market in Brescia, and he 
Leapt about, snatching at the bright fish 
And getting in both of their ways ; 
And in vain they commanded him to sta fermo I 
And when they would not let him arrange 
The fish in the boxes 

He stroked those which were already arranged, 
Murmuring for his own satisfaction 
This identical phrase : 
a 5 e be'a. 

And at this I was mildly abashed. 

* Bella. 

The Beliaires 

Aus meinen grossen Schmerzen 
MacW ich die Jcleinen Lieder. 

THE good Beliaires 

Do not understand the conduct of this world's 


In fact they understood them so badly 
That they have had to cross the Channel. 

Nine lawyers, four counsels, five judges and three 

proctors of the King, 
Together with the respective wives, husbands, 

sisters and heterogeneous connections of the 

good Beliaires, 
Met to discuss their affairs ; 
But the good Beliaires have so little understood 

their affairs 

That now there is no one at all 
Who can understand any affair of theirs. Yet 
Fourteen hunters still eat in the stables of 
The good Squire Bellaire ; 
But these may not suffer attainder, 



For they may not belong to the good Squire 


But to his wife. 
On the contrary, if they do not belong to his 


He will plead 

A " freedom from attainder " 
For twelve horses and also for twelve boarhounds 
From Charles the Fourth ; 
And a further freedom for the remainder 
Of horses, from Henry the Fourth. 
But the judges, 

Being free of mediaeval scholarship, 
Will pay no attention to this, 
And there will be only the more confusion, 
Replevin, estoppel, espavin and what not. 

Nine lawyers, four counsels, etc., 
Met to discuss their affairs, 
But the sole result was bills 
From lawyers to whom no one was indebted, 
And even the lawyers 

Were uncertain who was supposed to be indebted 
to them. 

Wherefore the good Squire Bellaire 
Resides now at Agde and Biaucaire. 
To Carcassonne, Pui, and Alais 
He fareth from day to day, 



Or takes the sea air 
Between Marseilles 
And Beziers. 

And for all this I have considerable regret, 
For the good Bellaires 
Are very charming people. 



COME, my songs, let us speak of perfection 
We shall get ourselves rather disliked. 


Ah yes, my songs, let us resurrect 

The very excellent term Rusticus. 

Let us apply it in all its opprobrium 

To those to whom it applies. 

And you may decline to make them immortal. 

For we shall consider them and their state 

In delicate 

Opulent silence. 


Come, my songs, 

Let us take arms against this sea of stupidities- 
Beginning with Mumpodorus ; 
And against this sea of vulgarities- 
Beginning with Nimmim ; 
And against this sea of imbeciles 
All the Bulmenian literati. 



THE bashful Arides 

Has married an ugly wife, 

He was bored with his manner of life, 

Indifferent and discouraged he thought he might 

Well do this as anything else. 

Saying within his heart, " I am no use to myself* 
" Let her, if she wants me, take me." 
He went to his doom. 

The Bath Tub 

As a bathtub lined with white porcelain, 
When the hot water gives out or goes tepid, 
So is the slow cooling of our chivalrous passion, 
my much praised but-not-altogether-satis- 
factory lady. 



Old friends the most. 

W. B. Y. 

To one, on returning certain years after. 

You wore the same quite correct clothing, 
You took no pleasure at all in my triumphs, 
You had the same old air of condescension 
Mingled with a curious fear 

That I, myself, might have enjoyed them. 

Te voila, mon Bourrienne, you also shall be 


To another. 

And we say good-bye to you also, 
For you seem never to have discovered 
That your relationship is wholly parasitic ; 
Yet to our feasts you bring neither 
Wit, nor good spirits, nor the pleasing attitudes 
Of discipleship. 




But you, bos arnic, we keep on, 

For to you we owe a real debt : 

In spite of your obvious flaws, 

You once discovered a moderate chop-house. 


Iste fuit vir incultus, 

Deo laus, quod est sepultus, 

Vermes habent eius vultum 

A-a-a~a A-men. 
Ego autem jovialis 
Gaudero contubernalis 
Cwnjocunda femina. 

To Dives 

WHO am I to condemn you, O Dives, 
I who am as much embittered 
With poverty 
As you are with useless riches ? 



FOUR and forty lovers had Agathas in the old 


All of whom she refused ; 
And now she turns to me seeking love, 
And her hair also is turning. 

Young Lady 

I have fed your lar with poppies, 

I have adored you for three full years ; 

And now you grumble because your dress does 

not fit 
And because I happen to say so. 

Lesbia Ilia 

Memnon, Memnon, that lady 
Who used to walk about amongst us 
With such gracious uncertainty, 
Is now wedded 
To a British householder. 
Lug etc, Verier es ! Lugete, Cupidinesque I 




Flawless as Aphrodite, 

Thoroughly beautiful, 


The faint odour of your patchouli, 

Faint, almost, as the lines of cruelty about your 

Assails me, and concerns me almost as little. 


O MY songs, 

Why do you look so eagerly and so curiously into 

people's faces, 
Will you find your lost dead among them ? 



GOOD God ! They say you are risque \ 

O canzonetti ! 

We who went out into the four A.M. of the world 

Composing our albas, 

We who shook off our dew with the rabbits, 

We who have seen even Artemis a-binding her 


Have we ever heard the like ? 
O mountains of Hellas ! ! 

Gather about me, Muses ! 

When we sat upon the granite brink in Helicon 

Clothed in the tattered sunlight, 

Muses with delicate shins, 

O Muses with delectable knee-joints, 

When we splashed and were splashed with 

The lucid Castalian spray, 

Had we ever such an epithet cast upon us ! ! 




"Dompna pois de me no'us cal" 

LADY, since you care nothing for me, 

And since you have shut me away from you 


I know not where to go seeking, 

For certainly 

I will never again gather 

Joy so rich, and if I find not ever 

A lady with look so speaking 

To my desire, worth yours whom I have lost, 

I'll have no other love at any cost. 

And since I could not find a peer to you, 
Neither one so fair, nor of such heart, 
So eager and alert, 
Nor with such art 
In attire, nor so gay 
Nor with gift so bountiful and so true, 



I will go out a-searching, 
Culling from each a fair trait 
To make me a borrowed lady 
Till I again find you ready. 

Bels Cembelins, I take of you your colour, 

For it's your own, and your glance 

Where love is, 

A proud thing I do here, 

For, as to colour and eyes 

I shall have missed nothing at all, 

Having yours. 

I ask of Midons Aelis (of Montfort) 

Her straight speech free-running, 

That my phantom lack not in cunning. 

At Chalais of the Viscountess, I would 

That she give me outright 

Her two hands and her throat, 

So take I my road 

lo Rochechouart, 

Swift-foot to my Lady Anhes, 

Seeing that Tristan's lady Iseutz had never 

Such grace of locks, I do ye to wit, 

Though she'd the far fame for it. 

Of Audiart at Malemort, 
Though she with a full heart 
Wish me ill, 

I'd have her form that's laced 



So cunningly, 

Without blemish, for her love 

Breaks not nor turns aside. 

I of Miels-de-ben demand 

Her straight fresh body, 

She is so supple and young, 

Her robes can but do her wrong. 

Her white teeth, of the Lady Faidita 

I ask, and the fine courtesy 

She hath to welcome one, 

And such replies she lavishes 

Within her nest ; 

Of Bels Mirals, the rest, 

Tall stature and gaiety, 

To make these avail 

She knoweth well, betide 

No change nor turning aside. 

Ah, Bels Senher, Maent, at last 
I ask naught from you, 
Save that I have such hunger for 
This phantom 

As I've for you, such flame-lap, 
And yet I'd rather 
Ask of you than hold another, 
Mayhap, right close and kissed. 
Ah, lady, why have you cast 
Me out, knowing you hold me so fast ! 


The Coming of War: Actaeon 

AN image of Lethe, 

and the fields 
Full of faint light 

but golden, 
Gray cliffs, 

and beneath them 
A sea 
Harsher than granite, 

unstill, never ceasing ; 
High forms 

with the movement of gods, 
Perilous aspect ; 

And one said : 
" This is Actaeon." 

Actaeon of golden greaves ! 

Over fair meadows, 

Over the cool face of that field, 

Unstill. ever moving, 

Hosts of an ancient people, 

The silent cortege. 

After Ch'u Yuan 

I WILL get me to the wood 

Where the gods walk garlanded in wistaria, 

By the silver blue flood 

move others with ivory cars. 
There come forth many maidens 

to gather grapes for the leopards, my friend, 
For there are leopards drawing the cars. 

I will walk in the glade, 
I will come out of the new thicket 
and accost the procession of maidens. 

Liu Ch'e 

THE rustling of the silk is discontinued, 
Dust drifts over the court-yard, 
There is no sound of foot-fall, and the leaves 
Scurry into heaps and lie still, 
And she the rejoicer of the heart is beneath 

A wet leaf that clings to the threshold. 


Fan-piece, for her Imperial Lord 

FAN of white silk, 

clear as frost on the grass-blade, 
You also are laid aside. 

Ts'ai Chi'h 

THE petals fall in the fountain, 

the orange-coloured rose-leaves. 
Their ochre clings to the stone. v 


In a Station of the Metro 

THE apparition of these faces in the crowd ; 
Petals on a wet, black bough. 


As cool as the pale wet leaves 

of lily-of-the-valley 
She lay beside me in the dawn. 


THE black panther treads at my side, 

And above my fingers 

There float the petal-like flames. 

The milk-white girls 
Unbend from the holly-trees, 
And their snow-white leopard 
Watches to follow our trace. 


The Faun 

HA ! sir, I have seen you sniffing and snoozling 

among my flowers. 

And what, pray, do you know about horticulture, 

you capriped ? 

" Come, Auster, come, Apeliota, 
And see the faun in our garden. 
But if you move or speak 
This thing will run at you 
And scare itself to spasms." 


THE gilded phaloi of the crocuses 

are thrusting at the spring air. 
Here is there naught of dead gods 
But a procession of festival, 
A procession, O Giulio Romano, 
Fit for your spirit to dwell in. 
Dione, your nights are upon us. 

The dew is upon the leaf. 
The night about us is restless. 


The Encounter 

ALL the while they were talking the new morality 

Her eyes explored me. 

And when I arose to go 

Her fingers were like the tissue 

Of a Japanese paper napkin. 


Io ! lo ! Tamuz ! 

The Dryad stands in my court-yard 

With plaintive, querulous crying. 

(Tamuz. Io ! Tamuz !) 

Oh, no, she is not crying : " Tamuz." 

She says, " May my poems be printed this week ? 

The god Pan is afraid to ask you, 

May my poems be printed this week ? " 


Black Slippers: Bellotti 

AT the table beyond us 

With her little suede slippers off, 

With her white-stocking' d feet 

Carefully kept from the floor by a napkin, 

She converses : 

Connaissez-vous Ostende ? 
The gurgling Italian lady on the other side of the 


Replies with a certain hauteur, 
But I await with patience 
To see how Celestine will re-enter her slippers. 
She re-enters them with a groan. 


THE family position was waning, 
And on this account the little Aurelia, 
Who had laughed on eighteen summers, 
Now bears the palsied contact of Phidippus. 


Image from D'Orleans 

YOTJNG men riding in the street 
In the bright new season 
Spur without reason, 
Causing their steeds to leap. 

And at the pace they keep 
Their horses' armoured feet 
Strike sparks from the cobbled street 
In the bright new season. 


Spring. . . 
Too long. . . 
Gongula. . . 

49 E 

"lone, Dead the Long Year" 

EMPTY are the ways, 

Empty are the ways of this land 

And the flowers 

Bend over with heavy heads. 
They bend in vain. 
Empty are the ways of this land 

Where lone 
Walked once, and now does not walk 

But seems like a person just gone. 

Shop Girl 

FOR a moment she rested against me 
Like a swallow half blown to the wall, 
And they talk of Swinburne's women, 
And the shepherdess meeting with Guido, 
And the harlots of Baudelaire. 


To Formianus' Young Lady Friend 


ALL Hail ! young lady with a nose 

by no means too small, 
With a foot unbeautiful, 

and with eyes that are not black, 
With fingers that are not long, and with a mouth 


And with a tongue by no means too elegant, 
You are the friend of Formianus, the vendor of 


And they call you beautiful in the province, 
And you are even compared to Lesbia, 

O most unfortunate age ! 

51 E 2 

Tame Cat 

" IT rests me to be among beautiful women. 
Why should one always lie about such matters ? 

I repeat : 

It rests me to converse with beautiful women 

Even though we talk nothing but nonsense, 

The purring of the invisible antennae 
Is both stimulating and delightful." 

L'Art, 1910 

GREEN arsenic smeared on an egg-white cloth, 
Crushed strawberries ! Come, let us feast our 



WHY does the horse-faced lady of just the un- 
mentionable age 

Walk down Longacre reciting Swinburne to herself, 
inaudibly ? 

Why does the small child in the soiled-white 
imitation fur coat 

Crawl in the very black gutter beneath the grape 
stand ? 

Why does the really handsome young woman 
approach me in Sackville Street 

Undeterred by the manifest age of my trappings ? 

Women Before a Shop 

THE gew-gaws of false amber and false turquoise 

attract them. 
" Like to like nature " : these agglutinous 

yellows ! 



O CHANSONS foregoing 
You were a seven days' wonder, 
When you came out in the magazines 
You created considerable stir in Chicago, 

And now you are stale and worn out, 
You're a very depleted fashion, 
A hoop-skirt, a calash, 
An homely, transient antiquity. 

Only emotion remains. 

Your emotions ? 

Are those of a maitre-de-cafe. 


The Social Order 


THIS government official, 

Whose wife is several years his senior, 

Has such a caressing air 

When he shakes hands with young ladies. 


(Pompes Funebres) 

This old lady, 

Who was " so old that she was an atheist," 

Is now surrounded 

By six candles and a crucifix, 

While the second wife of a nephew 

Makes hay with the things in her house. 

Her two cats 

Go before her into Avernus ; 

A sort of chloroformed suttee, 

And it is to be hoped that their spirits will walk 

With their tails up, 

And with a plaintive, gentle mewing, 

For it is certain that she has left on this earth 

No sound 

Save a squabble of female connections. 


The Tea Shop 

THE girl in the tea shop 

is not so beautiful as she was, 
The August has worn against her. 
She does not get up the stairs so eagerly, 
Yes, she also will turn middle-aged, 
And the glow of youth that she spread about us 

as she brought us our muffins 
Will be spread about us no longer. 

She also will turn middle-aged, 



Fu I 

FIT I loved the high cloud and the hill, 
Alas, he died of alcohol 

Li Po 

And Li Po also died drunk. 
He tried to embrace a moon 
In the Yellow River. 

Our Contemporaries 

WHEN the Taihaitian princess 
Heard that he had decided, 

She rushed out into the sunlight and swarmed up 
a cocoanut palm tree, 

But he returned to this island 

And wrote ninety Petrarchan sonnets. 

NOTE. II s'agit d'un jeune poete qui a suivi le culte de 
Gauguin jusqu'a Tahiti meme (et qui vit encore). fitant 
fort bel homme, quand la princesse bistre entendit qu'il voulait 
lui accorder ses faveurs elle montra son allegresse de la fa$on 
dont nous venons de parler. Malheureusement ses poemes ne 
sont remplis que de ses propres subjectivites, style Victorien de 
la " Georgian Anthology." 


Ancient Wisdom, Rather Cosmic 

SO-SHTJ dreamed, 

And having dreamed that he was a bird, a bee, 

and a butterfly, 
He was uncertain why he should try to feel like 

anything else, 

Hence his contentment. 

The Three Poets 

CANDIDIA has taken a new lover 

And three poets are gone into mourning. 

The first has written a long elegy to " Chloris," 

To " Chloris chaste and cold," his " only Chloris.' 

The second has written a sonnet 

upon the mutability of woman, 
And the third writes an epigram to Candidia. 


The Gipsy 

" Est-ce que vous avez vu des autres des camarades avec des 
singes ou des ours ? " 

A Stray Gipsy A.D. 1912. 

THAT was the top of the walk, when he said : 
"Have you seen any others, any of our lot, 
"With apes or bears ? " 

A brown upstanding fellow 
Not like the half-castes, 

up on the wet road near Clermont. 
The wind came, and the rain, 
And mist clotted about the trees in the valley, 
And I'd the long ways behind me, 

gray Aries and Biaucaire, 
And he said, " Have you seen any of our lot ? " 

I'd seen a lot of his lot ... 

ever since Rhodez, 
Coming down from the fair 

of St. John, 
With caravans, but never an ape or a bear. 


The Game of Chess 


RED knights, brown bishops, bright queens, 
Striking the board, falling in strong " L " s of 

Reaching and striking in angles, 

holding lines in one colour. 
This board is alive with light ; 

these pieces are living in form, 
Their moves break and reform the pattern: 

Luminous green from the rooks, 
Clashing with " X " s of queens, 

looped with the knight-leaps. 

" Y " pawns, cleaving, embanking ! 

Whirl ! Centripetal ! Mate ! King down in the 

Clash, leaping of bands, straight strips of hard 

Blocked lights working in. Escapes. Renewal of 



Provincia Deserta 

AT Rochecoart, 
Where the hills part 

in three ways, 

And three valleys, full of winding roads, 
Fork out to south and north, 
There is a place of trees . . . gray with lichen, 
I have walked there 

thinking of old days. 
At Chalais 

is a pleached arbour ; 
Old pensioners and old protected women 
Have the right there 

it is charity. 
I have crept over old rafters, 

peering down 
Over the Dronne, 

over a stream full of lilies. 
Eastward the road lies, 

Aubeterre is eastward, 
With a garrulous old man at the inn. 



I know the roads in that place : 
Mareuil to the north-east, 

La Tour, 

There are three keeps near Mareuil, 
And an old woman, 

glad to hear Arnaut, 
Glad to lend one dry clothing. 

I have walked 

into Perigord, 

I have seen the torch-flames, high-leaping, 
Painting the front of that church, 
And, under the dark, whirling laughter. 
I have looked back over the stream 

and seen the high building, 
Seen the long minarets, the white shafts. 
I have gone in Ribeyrac 

and in Sarlat, 

I have climbed rickety stairs, heard talk of Croy, 
Walked over En Bertran's old layout, 
Have seen Narbonne, and Cahors and Chalus, 
Have seen Excideuil, carefully fashioned. v 

I have said : 

" Here such a one walked. 
" Here Cceur-de-Lion was slain. 

" Here was good singing. 
" Here one man hastened his step. 

" Here one lay panting." 


I have looked south from Hautefort, 

thinking of Montaignac, southward. 
I have lain in Rocafixada, 

level with sunset, 
Have seen the copper come down 

tinging the mountains, 

I have seen the fields, pale, clear as an emerald, 
Sharp peaks, high spurs, distant castles. 
I have said : " The old roads have lain here. 
66 Men have gone by such and such valleys 
" Where the great halls are closer together." 
I have seen Foix on its rock, seen Toulouse, and 

Aries greatly altered, 
I have seen the ruined " Dorata." 

I have said : 
" Riquier ! Guido." 

I have thought of the second Troy, 
Some little prized place in Auvergnat : 
Two men tossing a coin, one keeping a castle, 
One set on the highway to sing. 

He sang a woman. 
Auvergne rose to the song ; 

The Dauphin backed him. 
" The castle to Austors ! " 

" Pieire kept the singing 
" A fair man and a pleasant." 

He won the lady, 

Stole her away for himself, kept her against 
armed force : 



So ends that story. 

That age is gone ; 

Pieire de Maensac is gone. 

I have walked over these roads ; 

I have thought of them living. 







Song of the Bowmen of Shu 

HERE we are, picking the first fern-shoots 

And saying : When shall we get back to our 

country ? 
Here we are because we have the Ken-nin for our 


We have no comfort because of these Mongols. 
We grub the soft fern-shoots, 
When anyone says " Return," the others are full 

of sorrow. 
Sorrowful minds, sorrow is strong, we are hungry 

and thirsty. 
Our defence is not yet made sure, no one can let 

his friend return. 
We grub the old fern-stalks. 
We say : Will we be let to go back in October ? 
There is no ease in royal affairs, we have no 

Our sorrow is bitter, but we would not return to 

our country. 

What flower has come into blossom ? 
Whose chariot ? The General's. 



Horses, his horses even, are tired. They were 

We have no rest, three battles a month. 

By heaven, his horses are tired. 

The generals are on them, the soldiers are by 

The horses are well trained, the generals have 
ivory arrows and quivers ornamented with fish- 

The enemy is swift, we must be careful. 

When we set out, the willows were drooping with 

We come back in the snow, 

We go slowly, we are hungry and thirsty, 

Our mind is full of sorrow, who will know of our 
grief ? 

By Bunno. 
Very early. 


The Beautiful Toilet 

BLUE, blue is the grass about the river 

And the willows have overfilled the close garden. 

And within, the mistress, in the midmost of her 


White, white of face, hesitates, passing the door. 
Slender, she puts forth a slender hand, 

And she was a courtezan in the old days, 
And she has married a sot, 
Who now goes drunkenly out 
And leaves her too much alone. 

By Met Sheng. 
B.C. 140. 


The River Song 

THIS boat is of shato-wood, and its gunwales are 

cut magnolia, 
Musicians with jewelled flutes and with pipes of 


Fill full the sides in rows, and our wine 
Is rich for a thousand cups. 
We carry singing girls, drift with the drifting 


Yet Sennin needs 

A yellow stork for a charger, and all our seamen 
Would follow the white gulls or ride them. 
Kutsu's prose song 
Hangs with the sun and moon. 

King So's terraced palace 

is now but a barren hill, 
But I draw pen on this barge 
Causing the five peaks to tremble, 
And I have joy in these words 

like the joy of blue islands. 
(If glory could last forever 



Then the waters of Han would flow northward.) 

And I have moped in the Emperor's garden, 
awaiting an order-to-write ! 

I looked at the dragon-pond, with its willow- 
coloured water 

Just reflecting the sky's tinge, 

And heard the five-score nightingales aimlessly 

The eastern wind brings the green colour into the 

island grasses at Yei-shu, 
The purple house and the crimson are full of 

Spring softness. 
South of the pond the willow-tips are half-blue 

and bluer, 

Their cords tangle in mist, against the brocade- 
like palace. 
Vine-strings a hundred feet long hang down from 

carved railings, 
And high over the willows, the fine birds sing to 

each other, and listen, 
Crying " Kwan, Kuan," for the early wind, and 

the feel of it. 
The wind bundles itself into a bluish cloud and 

wanders off. 
Over a thousand gates, over a thousand doors are 

the sounds of spring singing, 
And the Emperor is at Ko. 

Five clouds hang aloft, bright on the purple sky, 

71 G 2 * 


The imperial guards come forth from the golden 
house with their armour a-g] earning. 

The Emperor in his jewelled car goes out to 
inspect his flowers, 

He goes out to Hori, to look at the wing-flapping 

He returns by way of Sei rock, to hear the new 

For the gardens at Jo -run are full of new nightin- 

Their sound is mixed in this flute, 

Their voice is in the twelve pipes here. 

By EiJiaku. 
8th century A.D. 


The River-Merchant's Wife: a 

WHILE my hair was still cut straight across my 


I played about the front gate, pulling flowers 
You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse, 
You walked about my seat, playing with blue 


And we went on living in the village of Chokan : 
Two small people, without dislike or suspicion. 

At fourteen I married My Lord you. 

I never laughed, being bashful. 

Lowering my head, I looked at the wall. 

Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back. 

At fifteen I stopped scowling, 

I desired my dust to be mingled with yours 

Forever and forever, and forever. 

Why should I climb the look out ? 

At sixteen you departed, 

You went into far Ku-to-Yen, by the river of 
swirling eddies, 



And you have been gone five months. 

The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead. 

You dragged your feet when you went out. 

By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different 


Too deep to clear them away ! 
The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind. 
The paired butterflies are already yellow with 


Over the grass in the West garden, 
They hurt me, 
I grow older, 
If you are coming down through the narrows of 

the river Kiang, 
Please let me know beforehand, 
And I will come out to meet you, 

As far as Cho-fu-Sa. 

By Rihaku. 


The Jewel Stairs' Grievance 

THE jewelled steps are already quite white with 

It is so late that the dew soaks my gauze 


And I let down the crystal curtain 
And watch the moon through the clear autumn. 

By EihaJcu. 

NOTE. Jewel stairs, therefore a palace. Grievance, there- 
fore there is something to complain of. Gauze stockings, there- 
fore a court lady, not a servant who complains. Clear autumn, 
therefore he has no excuse on account of weather. Also she has 
come early, for the dew has not merely whitened the stairs, but 
has soaked her stockings. The poem is especially prized because 
she utters no direct reproach. 


Poem by the Bridge at Ten-Shin 

MARCH has come to the bridge head, 

Peach boughs and apricot boughs hang over a 

thousand gates, 

At morning there are flowers to cut the heart, 
And evening drives them on the eastward-flowing 

Petals are on the gone waters and on the going, 

And on the back-swirling eddies, 
But to-day's men are not the men of the old days, 
Though they hang in the same way over the 


The sea's colour moves at the dawn 

And the princes still stand in rows, about the 


And the moon falls over the portals of Sei-go-yo, 
And clings to the walls and the gate-top. 
With head gear glittering against the cloud and 

The lords go forth from the court, and into far 




They ride upon dragon-like horses, 

Upon horses with head-trappings of yellow metal. 

And the streets make way for their passage. 

Haughty their passing, 
Haughty their steps as they go into great 


To high halls and curious food, 
To the perfumed air and girls dancing, 
To clear flutes and clear singing ; 
To the dance of the seventy couples ; 
To the mad chase through the gardens. 
Night and day are given over to pleasure 
And they think it will last a thousand autumns, 

Unwearying autumns. 

For them the yellow dogs howl portents in vain, 
And what are they compared to the lady 

That was cause of hate ! 
Who among them is a man like Han-rei 

Who departed alone with his mistress, 
With her hair unbound, and he his own skiffs- 

By Rihaku. 


Lament of the Frontier Guard 

the North Gate, the wind blows full of sand, 
Lonely from the beginning of time until now ! 
Trees fall, the grass goes yellow with autumn. 
I climb the towers and towers 

to watch out the barbarous land : 
Desolate castle, the sky, the wide desert. 
There is no wall left to this village. 
Bones white with a thousand frosts, 
High heaps, covered with trees and grass ; 
Who brought this to pass ? 
Who has brought the flaming imperial anger ? 
Who has brought the army with drums and with 

kettle-drums ? 
Barbarous kings. 
A gracious spring, turned to blood-ravenous 

A turmoil of wars-men, spread over the middle 


Three hundred and sixty thousand, 
And sorrow, sorrow like rain. 
Sorrow to go, and sorrow, sorrow returning, 



Desolate, desolate fields, 

And no children of warfare upon them, 

No longer the men for offence and defence. 
Ah, how shall you know the dreary sorrow at the 

North Gate, 

With Rihoku's name forgotten, 
And we guardsmen fed to the tigers. 

By EiJiaku. 


Exile's Letter 

To So-Kin of Rakuyo, ancient friend, Chancellor 

of Gen. 

Now I remember that you built me a special tavern 
By the south side of the bridge at Ten-Shin. 
With yellow gold and white jewels, we paid for 

songs and laughter 
And we were drunk for month on month, forgetting 

the kings and princes. 
Intelligent men came drifting in from the sea and 

from the west border, 
And with them, and with you especially 
There was nothing at cross purpose, 
And they made nothing of sea-crossing or of 

mountain crossing, 

If only they could be of that fellowship, 
And we all spoke out our hearts and minds, and 

without regret. 

And then I was sent off to South Wei, 

smothered in laurel groves, 
And you to the north of Raku-hoku, 
Till we had nothing but thoughts and memories 
in common. 



And then, when separation had come to its 


We met, and travelled into Sen-Go, 
Through all the thirty-six folds of the turning 

and twisting waters, 

Into a valley of the thousand bright flowers, 
That was the first valley ; 
And into ten thousand valleys full of voices and 

pine- winds. 

And with silver harness and reins of gold, 
Out come the East of Kan foreman and his 

And there came also the " True man " of Shi-yo 

to meet me, 

Playing on a jewelled mouth-organ. 
In the storied houses of San-Ko they gave us 

more Sennin music, 
Many instruments, like the sound of young 

phoenix broods. 
The foreman of Kan Chu, drunk, danced 

because his long sleeves wouldn't 

keep still 

With that music playing. 
And I, wrapped in brocade, went to sleep with 

my head on his lap, 
And my spirit so high it was all over the 

And before the end of the day we were scattered 

like stars, or rain. 



I had to be off to So, far away over the waters, 
You back to your river-bridge. 

And your father, who was brave as a leopard, 
Was governor in Hei Shu, and put down the 

barbarian rabble. 
And one May he had you send for me, 

despite the long distance. 
And what with broken wheels and so on, I won't 

say it wasn't hard going, 
Over roads twisted like sheep's guts. 
And I was still going, late in the year, 

in the cutting wind from the North, 
And thinking how little you cared for the 


and you caring enough to pay it. 
And what a reception : 
Red jade cups, food well set on a blue jewelled 

And I was drunk, and had no thought of 

And you would walk out with me to the western 

corner of the castle, 
To the dynastic temple, with water about it clear 

as blue jade, 

With boats floating, and the sound of mouth- 
organs and drums, 
With ripples like dragon-scales, going grass green 

on the water, 



Pleasure lasting, with courtezans, going and com- 
ing without hindrance, 

With the willow flakes falling like snow, 

And the vermilioned girls getting drunk about 

And the water a hundred feet deep reflecting 
green eyebrows 

Eyebrows painted green are a fine sight in 
young moonlight, 

Gracefully painted 

And the girls singing back at each other, 

Dancing in transparent brocade, 

And the wind lifting the song, and inter- 
rupting it, 

Tossing it up under the clouds. 

And all this comes to an end. 


And is not again to be met with. 
I went up to the court for examination, 
Tried Layu's luck, offered the Choyo song, 
And got no promotion, 

and went back to the East Mountains 

And once again, later, we met at the South 

And then the crowd broke up, you went north to 

San palace, 
And if you ask how I regret that parting : 

It is like the flowers falling at Spring's end 
Confused, whirled in a tangle. 


What is the use of talking, and there is no end of 


There is no end of things in the heart. 
I call in the boy, 
Have him sit on his knees here 

To seal this, 
And send it a thousand miles, thinking. 

By Rihaku. 


From EihaJcu 

Light rain is on the light dust 

The willows of the inn-yard 

Will be going greener and greener, 

But you, Sir, had better take wine ere your departure, 

For you will have no friends about you 

When you come to the gates of Go. 

Separation on the River Kiang 

KO-JIN goes west from Ko-kaku-ro, 

The smoke-flowers are blurred over the river. 

His lone sail blots the far sky. 

And now I see only the river, 

The long Kiang, reaching heaven. 

Taking Leave of a Friend 

BLUE mountains to the north of the walls, 
White river winding about them ; 
Here we must make separation 

85 H 


And go out through a thousand miles of dead 


Mind like a floating wide cloud. 
Sunset like the parting of old acquaintances 
Who bow over their clasped hands at a distance. 
Our horses neigh to each other 
as we are departing. 

Leave-taking near Shoku 

" Sanso, King of Shoku, built roads." 

THEY say the roads of Sanso are steep, 
Sheer as the mountains. 
The walls rise in a man's face, 
Clouds grow out of the hill 

at his horse's bridle. 

Sweet trees are on the paved way of the Shin, 
Their trunks burst through the paving, 
And freshets are bursting their ice 

in the midst of Shoku, a proud city. 

Men's fates are already set, 

There is no need of asking diviners. 



The City of Choan 

THE phoenix are at play on their terrace. 
The phoenix are gone, the river flows on alone. 
Flowers and grass 
Cover over the dark path 

where lay the dynastic house of the Go. 
The bright cloths and bright caps of Shin 
Are now the base of old hills. 

The Three Mountains fall through the far heaven, 
The isle of White Heron 

splits the two streams apart. 
Now the high clouds cover the sun 
And I can not see Choan afar 
And I am sad. 

87 H 2 

South-Folk in Cold Country 

THE Dai horse neighs against the bleak wind of 

The birds of Etsu have no love for En, in the 


Emotion is born out of habit. 
Yesterday we went out of the Wild-Goose gate, 
To-day from the Dragon-Pen.* 
Surprised. Desert turmoil. Sea sun. 
Flying snow bewilders the barbarian heaven. 
Lice swarm like ants over our accoutrements. 
Mind and spirit drive on the feathery banners. 
Hard fight gets no reward. 
Loyalty is hard to explain. 
Who will be sorry for General Rishogu, 

the swift moving, 
Whose white head is lost for this province ? 

* I.e., we have been warring from one end of the empire to 
the other, now east, now west, on each border. 


Sennin Poem by Kakuhaku 

THE red and green kingfishers 

flash between the orchids and clover, 
One bird casts its gleam on another. 

Green vines hang through the high forest, 
They weave a whole roof to the mountain, 
The lone man sits with shut speech, 
He purrs and pats the clear strings. 

He throws his heart up through the sky, 
He bites through the flower pistil 

and brings up a fine fountain. 
The red-pine-tree god looks on him and wonders. 
He rides through the purple smoke to visit the 


He takes " Floating HiU " * by the sleeve, 
He claps his hand on the back of the great water 


But you, you dam'd crowd of gnats, 
Can you even tell the age of a turtle ? 

* Name of a sennin. 


A Ballad of the Mulberry Road 

(Fenollosa MSS., very early.) 

THE sun rises in south east corner of things 
To look on the tall house of the Shin 
For they have a daughter named Rafu, 

(pretty girl) 

She made the name for herself : " Gauze Veil," 
For she feeds mulberries to silkworms, 

She gets them by the south wall of the 

With green strings she makes the warp of her 

She makes the shoulder-straps of her basket 

from the boughs of Katsura, 
And she piles her hair up on the left side of her 


Her earrings are made of pearl, 
Her underskirt is of green pattern-silk, 
Her overskirt is the same silk dyed in purple, 
And when men going by look on Rafu 
They set down their burdens, 
They stand and twirl their moustaches. 


Old Idea of Choan by Rosoriu 


THE narrow streets cut into the wide highway at 

Dark oxen, white horses, 

drag on the seven coaches with outriders. 
The coaches are perfumed wood, 
The jewelled chair is held up at the crossway, 
Before the royal lodge 

a glitter of golden saddles, awaiting the 


They eddy before the gate of the barons. 
The canopy embroidered with dragons 

drinks in and casts back the sun. 

Evening comes. 

The trappings are bordered with mist. 
The hundred cords of mist are spread through 

and double the trees, 
Night birds, and night women, 

spread out their sounds through the 




Birds with flowery wing, hovering butterflies 

crowd over the thousand gates, 
Trees that glitter like jade, 

terraces tinged with silver, 
The seed of a myriad hues, 
A net-work of arbours and passages and covered 

Double towers, winged roofs, 

border the net-work of ways : 
A place of felicitous meeting. 
Riu's house stands out on the sky, 

with glitter of colour 
As Butei of Kan had made the high golden lotus 

to gather his dews, 

Before it another house which I do not know : 
How shall we know all the friends 

whom we meet on strange roadways ? 


To-Em-Mei's "The Unmoving Cloud' 

" Wet springtime," says To-em-mei, 

"Wet spring in the garden." 


THE clouds have gathered, and gathered, 
and the rain falls and falls, 

The eight ply of the heavens 

are all folded into one darkness, 

And the wide, flat road stretches out. 

I stop in my room toward the East, quiet, quiet, 

I pat my new cask of wine. 

My friends are estranged, or far distant, 

I bow my head and stand still. 


Bain, rain, and the clouds have gathered, 
The eight ply of the heavens are darkness, 
The flat land is turned into river. 

" Wine, wine, here is wine ! " 
I drink by my eastern window. 
I think of talking and man, 
And no boat, no carriage, approaches. 




The trees in my east-looking garden 

are bursting out with new twigs, 
They try to stir new affection, 

And men say the sun and moon keep on moving 
because they can't find a soft seat. 

The birds flutter to rest in my tree, 

and I think I have heard them saying, 
" It is not that there are no other men 
But we like this fellow the best, 
But however we long to speak 
He can not know of our sorrow." 

T'ao Yuan Ming. 
A.D. 365-427. 



Near Perigord 

A Perigord, pres del muralh 

Tan que i puosch 'om gitar ab maTh. 

YOU'D have men's hearts up from the dust 

And tell their secrets, Messire Cino, 

Right enough ? Then read between the lines 

of Uc St. Ore, 
Solve me the riddle, for you know the tale. 

Bertrans, En Bertrans, left a fine canzone : 
" Maent, I love you, you have turned me out. 
The voice at Montf ort, Lady Agnes' hair, 
Bel Miral's stature, the vicountess' throat, 
Set all together, are not worthy of you. . ." 
And all the while you sing out that canzone, 
Think you that Maent lived at Montaignac, 
One at Chalais, another at Malemort 
Hard over Brive for every lady a castle, 
Each place strong. 

Oh, is it easy enough ? 
Tairiran held hall in Montaignac, 



His brother-in-law was all there was of power 
In Perigord, and this good union 
Gobbled all the land, and held it later 
for some hundreds years. 
And our En Bertrans was in Altafort, 
Hub of the wheel, the stirrer-up of strife, 
As caught by Dante in the last wallow of hell 
The headless trunk " that made its head a lamp." 
For separation wrought out separation, 
And he who set the strife between brother and 


And had his way with the old English king, 
Viced in such torture for the " counterpass." 

How would you live, with neighbours set about 


Poictiers and Brive, untaken Rochechouart, 
Spread like the finger-tips of one frail hand ; 
And you on that great mountain of a palm 
Not a neat ledge, not Foix between its streams, 
But one huge back half -covered up with pine, 
Worked for and snatched from the string-purse of 

The four round towers, four brothers mostly 

fools : 

What could he do but play the desperate chess, 
And stir old grudges ? 

" Pawn your castles, lords ! 
Let the Jews pay." 



And the great scene 
(That, maybe, never happened !) 

Beaten at last, 
Before the hard old king : 

" Your son, ah, since he died 
My wit and worth are cobwebs brushed aside 
In the full flare of grief. Do what you will." 

Take the whole man, and ravel out the story. 
He loved this lady in castle Montaignac ? 
The castle flanked him he had need of it. 
You read to-day, how long the overlords of 

The Talleyrands, have held the place, it was no 

transient fiction. 
And Maent failed him ? Or saw through the 

scheme ? 

And all his net-like thought of new alliance ? 
Chalais is high, a-level with the poplars. 
Its lowest stones just meet the valley tips 
Where the low Dronne is filled with water-lilies. 
And Rochecouart can match it, stronger yet, 
The very spur's end, built on sheerest cliff, 
And Malemort keeps its close hold on Brive, 
While Born his own close purse, his rabbit warren, 
His subterranean chamber with a dozen doors, 
A-bristle with antennae to feel roads, 
To sniff the traffic into Perigord. 



And that hard phalanx, that unbroken line, 
The ten good miles from thence to Maent's castle, 
All of his flank how could he do without her ? 
And all the road to Cahors, to Toulouse ? 
What would he do without her ? 

" Papiol, 

Go forthright singing Anhes, Cembelins. 
There is a throat ; ah, there are two white hands ; 
There is a trellis full of early roses, 
And all my heart is bound about with love. 
Where am I come with compound flatteries 
What doors are open to fine compliment ? " 
And every one half jealous of Maent ? 
He wrote the catch to pit their jealousies 
Against her, give her pride in them ? 

Take his own speech, make what you will of it 
And still the knot, the first knot, of Maent ? 

Is it a love poem ? Did he sing of war ? 
Is it an intrigue to run subtly out, 
Born of a jongleur's tongue, freely to pass 
Up and about and in and out the land, 
Mark him a craftsman and a strategist ? 
(St. Leider had done as much at Polhonac, 
Singing a different stave, as closely hidden.) 
Oh, there is precedent, legal tradition, 
To sing one thing when your song means another, 



" Et albirar ab lor bordon " 

Eoix' count knew that. What is Sir Bertrans' 
singing ? 

Maent, Maent, and yet again Maent, 

Or war and broken heaumes and politics ? 


End fact. Try fiction, Let us say we see 
En Bertrans, a tower-room at Hautefort, 
Sunset, the ribbon-like road lies, in red cross-light, 
South toward Montaignac, and he bends at a 

Scribbling, swearing between his teeth, by his left 


Lie little strips of parchment covered over, 
Scratched and erased with al and ochaisos. 
Testing his list of rhymes, a lean man ? Bilious ? 
With a red straggling beard ? 
And the green cat's-eye lifts toward Montaignac. 

Or take his "magnet" singer setting out, 
Dodging his way past Aubeterre, singing at 

In the vaulted hall, 
Or, by a lichened tree at Rochecouart 
Aimlessly watching a hawk above the valleys, 
Waiting his turn in the mid -summer evening, 



Thinking of Aelis, whom he loved heart and 

soul . . . 

To find her half alone, Montfort away, 
And a brown, placid, hated woman visiting her, 
Spoiling his visit, with a year before the next one. 
Little enough ? 
Or carry him forward. " Go through all the 

My Magnet," Bertrand had said. 

We came to Ventadour 

In the mid love court, he sings out the canzon, 
No one hears save Arrimon Luc D'Esparo 
No one hears aught save the gracious sound of 


Sir Arrimon counts on his fingers, Montfort, 
Rochecouart, Chalais, the rest, the tactic, 
Malemort, guesses beneath, sends word to Cceur 

de Lion : 

The compact, de Born smoked out, trees felled 

About his castle, cattle driven out ! 

Or no one sees it, and En Bertrans prospered ? 

And ten years after, or twenty, as you will, 
Arnaut and Richard lodge beneath Chalus : 
The dull round towers encroaching on the field, 
The tents tight drawn, horses at tether 
Further and out of reach, the purple night, 



The crackling of small fires, the bannerets, 
The lazy leopards on the largest banner, 
Stray gleams on hanging mail, an armourer's torch- 
Melting on steel. 

And in the quietest space 
They probe old scandals, say de Born is dead ; 
And we've the gossip (skipped six hundred years). 
Richard shall die to-morrow leave him there 
Talking of trobar clus with Daniel. 
And the "best craftsman" sings out his friend's 


Envies its vigour . . . and deplores the technique, 
Dispraises his own skill ? That's as you will. 
And they discuss the dead man, 
Plantagenet puts the riddle : " Did he love her ? " 
And Arnaut parries : " Did he love your sister ? 
True, he has praised her, but in some opinion 
He wrote that praise only to show he had 
The favour of your party, had been well received." 

" You knew the man." 

" You knew the man." 

"I am an artist, you have tried both metiers." 
66 You were born near him." 

"Do we know our friends ? " 
" Say that he saw the castles, say that he loved 
Maent ! " 

101 i 


" Say that he loved her, does it solve the riddle ?' 
End the discussion, Richard goes out next day 
And gets a quarrel-bolt shot through his vizard, 
Pardons the bowman, dies, 

Ends our discussion. Arnaut ends 
" In sacred odour" (that's apocryphal!) 
And we can leave the talk till Dante writes : 

Surely I saw, and still before my eyes 

Goes on that headless trunk, that bears for light 

Its own head swinging, gripped by the dead hair, 

And like a swinging lamp that says, "Ah me ! 

I severed men, my head and heart 

Ye see here severed, my life's counterpart" 

Or take En Bertrans ? 


Ed eran due in uno, ed uno in due. 
Inferno, XXVIII, 125. 

" Bewildering spring, and by the Auvezere 
Poppies and day's-eyes in the green email 
Rose over us ; and we knew all that stream, 
And our two horses had traced out the valleys ; 
Knew the low flooded lands squared out with 


In the young days when the deep sky befriended. 



And great wings beat above us in the twilight, 
And the great wheels in heaven 
Bore us together . . . surging . . . and apart . . . 
Believing we should meet with lips and hands. 

High, high and sure . . . and then the counter- 
thrust : 

* Why do you love me ? Will you always love 

But I am like the grass, I can not love you.' 

Or, * Love, and I love and love you, 

And hate your mind, not you, your soul, your 

So to this last estrangement, Tairiran ! 

There shut up in his castle, Tairiran's, 
She who had nor ears nor tongue save in her 


Gone ah, gone untouched, unreachable ! 
She who could never live save through one person, 
She who could never speak save to one person, 
And all the rest of her a shifting change, 
A broken bundle of mirrors . . ! " 

103 i 2 

Villanelle: the Psychological Hour 

I HAD over-prepared the event, 

that much was ominous. 
With middle-ageing care 

I had laid out just the right books. 
I had almost turned down the pages. 

Beauty is so rare a thing. 
So few drink of my fountain. 

So much barren regret, 
So many hours wasted ! 
And now I watch, from the window, 

the rain, the wandering busses. 

" Their little cosmos is shaken " 

the air is alive with that fact. 

In their parts of the city 

they are played on by diverse forces. 

How do I know ? 

Oh, I know well enough. 

For them there is something afoot. 



As for me : 
I had over-prepared the event 

Beauty is so rare a thing. 
So few drink of my fountain. 

Two friends : a breath of the forest . . . 
Friends ? Are people less friends 

because one has just, at least, found 

them ? 
Twice they promised to come. 

" Between the night and morning ? " 

Beauty would drink of my mind. 
Youth would awhile forget 

my youth is gone from me. 


(" Speak up ! You have danced so stiffly ? 
Someone admired your works, 
And said so frankly. 

" Did you talk like a fool, 

The first night ? 

The second evening ? " 

" But they promised again : 

' To-morrow at tea-time.' ") 



Now the third day is here 

no word from either ; 
No word from her nor him, 
Only another man's note : 

" Dear Pound, I am leaving England.' 


Dans un Omnibus de Londres 

LES yeux d'une morte aimee 

M'ont salue, 

Enchasses dans un visage stupide 

Dont tons les autres traits etaient banals, 

Us m'ont salue 

Et alors je vis bien des choses 
Au dedans de ma memoire 

Je vis des canards sur le bord d'un lac minuscule, 
Aupres d'un petit enfant gai, bossu. 

Je vis les colonnes anciennes en "toe " 

Du Pare Monceau, 

Et deux petites filles graciles, 

Des patriciennes, 

aux toisons couleur de lin, 
Et des pigeonnes 

comme des poulardes. 


Je vis le pare, 

Et tous les gazons divers 

Ou nous avions loue des chaises 

Pour quatre sous. 

Je vis les cygnes noirs, 


Leurs ailes 

Teintees de couleur sang-de-dragon, 

Et toutes les fleurs 

Les yeux d'une morte 
M'ont salue. 


To a Friend Writing on Cabaret 

" Breathe not the word to-morrow in her ears" 
Vir Quidem, on Dancers. 

GOOD " Hedgethorn," for we'll anglicize your 

Until the last slut's hanged and the last pig 


Seeing your wife is charming and your child 
Sings in the open meadow at least the kodak 

says so 

My good fellow, you, on a cabaret silence 
And the dancers, you write a sonnet, 
Say "Forget To-morrow," being of all men 
The most prudent, orderly, and decorous ! 

"Pepita" has no to-morrow, so you write. 

Pepita has such to-morrows: with the hands 

puffed out, 

The pug-dog's features encrusted with tallow 
Sunk in a frowsy collar an unbrushed black. 
She will not bathe too often, but her jewels 



Will be a stuffy, opulent sort of fungus 

Spread on both hands and on the up-pushed 

It juts like a shelf between the jowl and corset. 

Have you, or I seen most of cabarets, good 
Hedgethorn ? 

Here's Pepita, tall and slim as an Egyptian 


Marsh-cranberries, the ribbed and angular pods 
Flare up with scarlet orange on stiff stalks 
And so Pepita 

flares on the crowded stage before our 

Or slithers about between the dishonest waiters 

" Carmen est maigre, un trait de bistre 
Cerne son ceil de gitana " 

And " rend la flamme " 

you know the deathless verses. 
I search the features, the avaricious features 
Pulled by the kohl and rouge out of resemblance 
Six pence the object for a change of passion. 

" Write me a poem." 

Come now, my dear Pepita, 
"-ita, bonita, chiquita," 

that's what you mean you advertising 



Or take the intaglio, my fat great-uncle's heir- 
loom : 

Cupid, astride a phallus with two wings, 
Swinging a cat-o' -nine-tails. 

No. Pepita, 
I have seen through the crust. 

I don't know what you look like 
But your smile pulls one way 

and your painted grin another, 
While that cropped fool, 

that torn-boy who can't earn her living. 
Come, come to-morrow, 

To-morrow in ten years at the latest, 
She will be drunk in the ditch, but you, Pepita, 
Will be quite rich, quite plump, with pug-bitch 


With a black tint staining your cuticle, 
Prudent and svelte Pepita. 

" Poete, writ me a poeme ! " 
Spanish and Paris, love of the arts part of your 

geisha-culture ! 

Euhenia, in short skirts, slaps her wide stomach, 
Pulls up a roll of fat for the pianist, 
" Pauvre femme maigre ! " she says. 

He sucks his chop bone, 
That some one else has paid for, 

grins up an amiable grin, 
Explains the decorations. 



Good Hedgethorn, they all have futures, 
All these people. 

Old Popkoff 

Will dine next week with Mrs. Basil, 
Will meet a duchess and an ex-diplomat's widow 
From Weehawken who has never known 
Any but " Majesties " and Italian nobles. 

Euhenia will have a fonda in Orbajosa. 
The amorous nerves will give way to digestive ; 
" Delight thy soul in fatness," saith the preacher. 
We can't preserve the elusive " mica salis" 
It may last well in these dark northern climates, 
Nell Gwynn's still here, despite the reformation, 
And Edward's mistresses still light the stage, 
A glamour of classic youth in their deportment. 
The prudent whore is not without her future, 
Her bourgeois dulness is deferred. 
Her present dulness . . . 

Oh well, her present dulness . . . 

Now in Venice, 'Storante al Giardino, I went early, 
Saw the performers come : him, her, the baby, 
A quiet and respectable-tawdry trio ; 
An hour later : a show of calves and spangles, 

" Un e due f anno tre" 

Night after night, 

No change, no change of program, " Chi ! 
La donna e mobile." 


Homage to Quintus Septimius Florentis 

(Ex libris Graecae) 

THEODORUS will be pleased at my death, 

And someone else will be pleased at the death of 

And yet everyone speaks evil of death. 


This place is the Cyprian's, for she has ever the 


To be looking out across the bright sea, 
Therefore the sailors are cheered, and the waves 
Keep small with reverence, beholding her image. 


A sad and great evil is the expectation of death 
And there are also the inane expenses of the 

funeral ; 

Let us therefore cease from pitying the dead 
For after death there comes no other calamity. 




Whither, city, are your profits and your gilded 


And your barbecues of great oxen, 
And the tall women walking your streets, in gilt 


With their perfumes in little alabaster boxes ? 
Where is the work of your home-born sculptors ? 

Time's tooth is into the lot, and war's and fate's 


Envy has taken your all, 
Save your douth and your story. 

Agathas Scholasticus. 


Woman ? Oh, woman is a consummate rage, 
but dead, or asleep, she pleases. 
Take her. She has two excellent seasons. 



Nicharcus upon Phidon his doctor 

Phidon neither purged me, nor touched me, 
But I remembered the name of his fever medicine 

and died. 


Fish and the Shadow 

THE salmon-trout drifts in the stream, 
The soul of the salmon-trout floats over the 

Like a little wafer of light. 

The salmon moves in the sun-shot, bright shallow 
sea. . . . 

As light as the shadow of the fish 

that falls through the water, 
She came into the large room by the stair, 
Yawning a little she came with the sleep still 
upon her. 

" I am just from bed. The sleep is still in my 

" Come. I have had a long dream." 

And I: "That wood? 
And two springs have passed us." 



" Not so far, no, not so far now, 

There is a place but no one else knows it 

A field in a valley . . . 

Qtiieu sui avinen, 
leu lo sai." 

She must speak of the time 

Of Arnaut de Mareuil, I thought, " qu'ieu sui 


Light as the shadow of the fish 

That falls through the pale green water.